For the second year in a row, Ruud had the honor of opening up play at the Laver Cup in 2022 and giving Team Europe the perfect headstart at the tournament, beating Jack Sock in three sets. All the eyes of his team members courtside gazed at him.
Roger Federer, who was calling time on his tennis career, was leading the choir. Fellow members of the Big Four cohort including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray were sitting and cheering behind Ruud's bench.
Ruud, who has played in three Grand Slam finals in his young career, admits that the experience of donning the blue jacket in London's O2 Arena with such genius minds looking on was the most nervous he's ever been on a tennis court.
"Last year in London, I was probably even more nervous because we had Roger, Rafa, Novak, and Andy watching. Looking over at the bench was motivating but also nerve-racking. Told him [Fils] he'll do fine."
The Norwegian has been invited to the Laver Cup this year, in what will be the third straight year he's donning the blue jacket for Team Europe. This time, it will be the upstart Arthur Fils who will get the opportunity to open play in what will be his Laver Cup debut. And three-time Grand Slam finalist has been giving the youngest man in the tournament some wise words.
"The last two years for me have been real exciting, up and down like everyone will experience, but I tried to advise Arthur [Fils] yesterday, since he's playing the first match, how it feels. I did it two years in a row, first in Boston and then in London."